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Painter tackles N.C. battle

An influential Carolinas Revolutionary War battle may soon have a fresh perspective on canvas.

Kentucky painter Richard Luce has joined re-enactors on the Overmountain Victory Trail as they recreate the 1780 march that led to the Battle of Kings Mountain.

A militia of mountain frontiersmen worked their way from Virginia to South Carolina to defeat British troops and help set up the final American victory at Yorktown.

Luce intends to do a series of battle paintings and is taking photos and making notes of the re-enactment as part of his research.

He told the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times-News during a stop in Bluff City, Tenn., last week that the re-enactors help him gather “magic moments” of action and emotion.

He hopes his trip with the Overmountain Men will lead to a series of paintings about the battle.

“I hope to make this a national campaign to spread the story,” he said. “It's a great story that needs to be told.”

British Gen. Henry Clinton called the campaign “the first chain of evils that … ended in the loss of America.” Thomas Jefferson described it as “the turn of the tide of success.” -- Associated Press

Nine people were injured early Sunday morning in an accident about 1:30 a.m. in Huntersville.

One victim was flown to Carolinas Medical Center and the others were taken by ambulance to area hospitals. Officials said one of the victims was a child. No more information was available. -- Victoria Cherrie

Regional briefs

Edgecombe County

A chile-stringing exhibition at the New Mexico State Fair this month brought a response from the current Guinness World Record holder, James Johnson of Edgecombe County.

According to reports, men, women and children at the fair in Albuquerque took five hours and 45 minutes to make a 157.7 feet long chile “ristra,” a line holding them.

Johnson, 72, spent three years stringing together 1,039 feet of chile pods, before being recognized as the Guinness World Record holder back in 2000. He began his ristra in 1997, stringing together 109 feet of chiles that first year.

Johnson said he heard about the New Mexico exhibition from one of his friends in Rocky Mount, whose daughter lives in Albuquerque and spotted a newspaper article about the event.

The Daily Southerner of Tarboro reported that three weeks before the fair's exhibition, Johnson wrote a letter giving his well wishes to the New Mexico Chile Association and Department of Agriculture in their effort.

“I'm glad (if) they can beat it, if they can,” Johnson said Monday about the fair's ristra stringers. But, he added, there is “a long way to go” before the record's broken.

Before he took his record ristra down from his lakeside “pepper house” in 2001, Johnson had 22,137 chile pods hanging from its ceiling. It took him four years of solitary work for his ristra to reach its final length of 1,274 feet, 235 feet longer than his official world record. -- Associated Press

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